Lenovo ThinkPad X200 review

Lenovo's diminutive business portable packs in high performance, great battery life and top build quality.

5
Price when reviewed 
1,235
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Let's get this straight: the X200, like all of its ThinkPad stablemates, isn't particularly good-looking - at least not in the traditional sense. Spend a few moments with this laptop, however, and its allure soon becomes clear. All the ThinkPad hallmarks are there: the smooth, matte-black lid, the utilitarian straight edges, that keyboard, and the red trackpoint nestling in the centre.

Look closer and you'll find the slightest hint of glamour - the familiar matte-black lid has a slight sparkle to it. The X200 is tiny, too, and with a weight of just 1.55kg, it's very light.

There are some compromises here. There's no optical drive and, to keep the laptop's footprint as compact as possible, no trackpad either.

However, the trackpoint is supremely accurate, so much so that we never missed a traditional trackpad while we were using it. And, when it's set in the centre of such a perfect keyboard, it would be churlish to complain.

Security is at the forefront, with a fingerprint reader and TPM 1.2 chip ready to keep sensitive data away from prying eyes.

And, for an ultraportable, the X200 is uncommonly sturdy. Sony's VGN-Z21MN/B pips the Lenovo to the post in several regards, but build quality isn't one of them. In terms of reliability and longevity, the X200 wins.

Performance is a bit below what we'd expect, but it's still fast. An Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 and 4GB of DDR3 memory is a potent combination, as the score of 1.23 in our benchmarks testifies.

Far more important is that battery life is strong. Light usage saw the Lenovo's 5,200mAh battery last more than 7hrs 30mins and, impressively, it also managed just short of two hours in our heavy-usage test. Add the optional nine-cell battery and the X200 will be effortlessly capable of all-day computing.

Partner the X200 with a docking station and an external display and it can replace your office PC. Sling it in a bag and its embedded 3G, extended battery life and light weight make it a perfect travelling companion. There simply is no better business ultraportable.

Warranty

Warranty3 year(s) return to base

Physical specifications

Dimensions295 x 210 x 35mm (WDH)
Weight1.6kg

Processor and memory

ProcessorIntel Core 2 Duo P8600
Motherboard chipsetIntel PM45 Express
RAM capacity4GB
Memory typeDDR3
SODIMM sockets free0
SODIMM sockets total2

Screen and video

Screen size12.1in
Resolution screen horizontal1,280
Resolution screen vertical800
Resolution1280 x 800
Graphics chipsetIntel GMA 4500
VGA (D-SUB) outputs1
HDMI outputs0
S-Video outputs0
DVI-I outputs0
DVI-D outputs0
DisplayPort outputs0

Drives

Capacity200GB
Hard disk usable capacity175GB
Spindle speed5,400RPM
Internal disk interfaceSATA 150
Hard diskHitachi HTS722020K9SA00
Optical disc technologyn/a
Optical drivenone
Battery capacity5,200mAh
Replacement battery price ex VAT£78
Replacement battery price inc VAT£90

Networking

Wired adapter speed1,000Mbits/sec
802.11a supportyes
802.11b supportyes
802.11g supportyes
802.11 draft-n supportyes
Integrated 3G adapteryes

Other Features

Wireless hardware on/off switchyes
Wireless key-combination switchyes
Modemyes
ExpressCard34 slots0
ExpressCard54 slots1
PC Card slots0
USB ports (downstream)3
PS/2 mouse portno
9-pin serial ports0
Parallel ports0
Optical S/PDIF audio output ports0
Electrical S/PDIF audio ports0
3.5mm audio jacks2
SD card readeryes
Memory Stick readeryes
MMC (multimedia card) readeryes
Smart Media readerno
Compact Flash readerno
xD-card readerno
Pointing device typeTrackpoint
Audio chipsetConexant Azalia HD
Speaker locationBottom
Hardware volume control?yes
Integrated microphone?yes
Integrated webcam?yes
TPMyes
Fingerprint readeryes
Smartcard readerno
Carry caseno

Battery and performance tests

Battery life, light use454
Battery life, heavy use117
Overall application benchmark score1.23
3D performance (crysis) low settings6fps
3D performance settingMedium

Operating system and software

Operating systemWindows Vista Ultimate
OS familyWindows Vista
Recovery methodRecovery partition
Software suppliedLenovo ThinkVantage

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